Single mothers hardest hit by cuts - Fawcett Society

Mother and child Single mothers are also being worst affected by cuts to public services, the charity says

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Single mothers will be hardest hit by the government's programme of benefit cuts and tax rises, according to campaign group the Fawcett Society.

It estimates they will lose an average 8.5% of their income after tax by 2015.

The gender equality charity said this compared with 7.5% for single fathers, 6.5% for couples with children and 2.5% for couples without children.

The Fawcett Society says "women are bearing the brunt". The Treasury has yet to comment.

The report was compiled from analysis conducted by the Institute for Fiscal Studies on the impact of changes announced by Chancellor George Osborne in March's Budget, plus last autumn's Comprehensive Spending Review and the emergency Budget of June 2010.

The Fawcett Society, which campaigns for equality between women and men, estimates that by 2015 the average single mother will have lost the equivalent of more than one month's income per year.

It said this was due to changes including a three-year freeze on child benefit, cuts in housing benefit, a reduction in the childcare element of the working tax credit and the restriction of maternity grants to the first child.

The charity also said single mothers were being hardest hit by cuts to public services, estimating that these were costing them the equivalent of 18.5% of their net income - more than double the impact on couples with children.

Fawcett's acting chief executive Anna Bird said: "Single women, on average, are set to lose a greater proportion of their income than other households, such as single men or couple households.

"In part this is because women are typically poorer than men but it is also because women make up the vast majority of lone parents - and it is this group that are set to lose most under the reforms.

"Some of the least well-off in our society are being forced to act as shock absorbers for the cuts, with women - in particular single mothers - faring worse."

Last year the Fawcett Society failed in a legal bid to secure a judicial review of the legality of the government's savings cuts.

The charity had argued that the government's plans failed to comply with the duty to have regard to their impact on equality.

The Treasury successfully argued that it was impossible to make a meaningful assessment of the different impact of the measures on men and women.

Ms Bird says the data from the IFS "puts paid to the idea that the government can't anticipate or predict the impact of its fiscal policies on different demographic groups".


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  • rate this

    Comment number 200.

    It's still free money. Can you REALLY complain at the amount of mone you are being given which you have not EARNED? Gift horse - mouth?

  • rate this

    Comment number 199.

    Well they say every cloud has a silver lining. All these cuts have got to be of benifit to the whole of the UK. Just imagine this single mothers with 8.5 % less food to put on the table and 7.5% less food for fathers. Already I can see a healthier society. Leaner mums and dads. Bring it on!

  • rate this

    Comment number 198.

    191 , 192

    I have 2 teenagers who have left school in the past 18mths neither with sparkling academic qualifications. Both are working and doing very well. They may not have the best paid jobs but are gaining experience & qualifications, going to night school & NOT being a drain on the public purse. Get off your high horses & get out & look, walk into places, go face to face, jobs are there.

  • rate this

    Comment number 197.

    191 & 192
    But no mandatory qualifications on job adverts. And whose fault is the devaluation of qualifications? Degrees in Beckham, sociology, media studies are a waste of time to keep youngsters of the dole figures put in place by those experts in fiddling the books, Labour. Overextending the public sector whilst forcing the private sector into overpaying for such luxuries.

  • rate this

    Comment number 196.


    sorry if I didn't make it clear - this is what I do for my unpaid "job" as single mother. I just get so fed up with people assuming it's a choice and the easy way to get money without working - for a lot of single mothers/parents it is neither!


Comments 5 of 200


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